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New York Agriculture in the Classroom


Schoolyard Sugaring

A Maple Syrup Contest

New York Agriculture in the Classroom, in partnership with the New York State Maple Foundation, presents the first of its kind maple syrup contest for classrooms across the state. Students will experience the process of collecting sap, learn the steps to boiling the sap into maple syrup, and submit their product for judging against other schools.


Pre-K through 12th grade classes in New York State, in their respective divisions. Multiple classrooms from the same school are eligible. FFA chapters, home school groups, and private schools are invited to participate.


Elementary School, Middle School, & High School

Contest Information
Making Maple Syrup

Review the Contest Procedures and the judging rubric to learn more about the contest and the criteria for scoring the syrup.

Maple Starter Kits will again be available! The first 50 classrooms to request this resource will receive a free starter kit with a value of $120. Teachers who received a kit in 2020 will not be eligible for a full kit, but can request 10 new sap collection bags.

This kit will include:

  • 10 Blue Sap Bags
  • 10 Galvanized Sap Bag Holders
  • 10 7/16" Hookless Aluminum Spouts
  • 1 7/16" Titanium Tapping Bit
  • 1 Syrup Hydrometer
  • 1 Stainless Steel Hydrometer Test Cup

This will provide all the essential items you will need to tap trees and collect sap this year, and many years to come.

NEW! Maple Innovation Contest

If you will be unable to make syrup with your students due to a virtual or hybrid learning situation, a Maple Innovation Contest has been added to this year's contest.

Your students are challenged to design and propose a solution to protect and/or deter animal impacts on a maple sugarbush. Students should explore various materials, systems, and/or resources that a maple producer could purchase or implement to stop or significantly reduce the replacement of tubing.

You are eligible to sign up to participate in both the syrup production and innovation challenge. All submissions are due on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Contest Registration
DUE February 19, 2021

New York Agriculture in the Classroom and the NYS Maple Foundation will provide the following prizes in each division, in both the syrup production and Maple Innovation Challenge:

  • 1st Place - $250
  • 2nd Place - $100
  • 3rd Place - $50
Photography Contest

New in 2021, the photography contest will be accepting submissions from individual students of their Schoolyard Sugaring experience. Each student is eligible to submit up to five images.

Images will be evaluated from each grade level division. The winning image from each division will earn the student photographer $50, and in addition, multiple students will be selected to have their photography displayed in a student exhibit at View Arts in Old Forge, NY.

Lesson Connections

Teachers will be provided lessons and an engaging classroom book to pair with the contest. The materials will be grade-level appropriate.

Basic Maple Information

The links below will provide you with some basic knowledge about the science behind syrup production, and methods for boiling sap to syrup.


Please direct any questions you have about this contest to Katie Carpenter,